There are a lot of things that I have homemade from scratch and swore I would never purchase from a store again. A few that come to mind are bread (hilarious), applesauce, peanut butter, and almond milk. Now I will admit that a homemade staple is almost always better than a store-bought counterpart, but for those of you that have kids, there are just not enough hours in the day sometimes. Granola, however, is one homemade staple that I will absolutely not compromise on. I make homemade granola at least every other week, and it is so far ahead in taste and nutrition than any store-bought brand (and there are A LOT) that I would never go back. If I don’t have time to make homemade granola, then the jar sits empty until I do. I can sprinkle raw oats and raisins on my coconut yogurt for all I care, I’m not buying the $12 bag of overly sweet designer granola.
This recipe makes about a 4 liter glass jar full, or almost full, or probably would have been full except samples. Handfuls and handfuls of samples. If you find yourself being able to resist warm granola straight off of the pan, please let me know how you do it.
Let’s just acknowledge the first problem of store-bought granola – the cost! I’ve seen tiny little bags of granola selling anywhere from $5 to $12 at the grocery store. That’s steep for a cereal. If you get your ingredients out of the bulk bins for your granola, it is very inexpensive to make.
In a typical store-bought granola, it lists the serving size on the back of the package as a half cup. Real quick, go get out a half cup measuring cup, fill it with some cereal, and pour it into a bowl. Chances are you are laughing because it is such a small amount. My three year old eats more than a half cup. If you are eating a bowl full of granola with milk for breakfast, I can pretty much guarantee you are eating more that a half cup. The main problem with this serving size is the added sugars. A few well known granola brands, both Nature Valley Oats N’ Honey and Bear Naked Maple Pecan, have 12 grams of sugar per half cup serving. If you are in fact only eating a half a cup in one sitting, you are still getting in almost half of the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended daily sugar allowance of 25 grams for an adult woman. I would rather save some of those grams for other enjoyment. I don’t actually believe in counting most things when it comes to food, but added sugar is a problem we cannot ignore. In my granola, there is less than 3 grams of added sugar per half cup serving. Much better. Use fruit to sweeten it up a bit if you would like a sweeter breakfast, try berries or chopped apple. Granola is a great after school snack for kids, too, just give them a bowl of plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt or Greek yogurt and let them sprinkle it on!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
- 2 cups puffed brown rice
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups large flaked coconut
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- A few handfuls of raisins (optional)
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup brown rice syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 300° and line two large rimmed baking trays with Silpat or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients.
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and brown rice syrup together over medium heat, stirring constantly, until you have a thin uniform syrup.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the contents of the saucepan into the mixing bowl of dry ingredients, and mix well until all ingredients are fully coated.
- Spread the granola evenly over the two baking sheets.
- Bake at 300° for around 20 minutes, and then take the trays out and stir the granola around a bit. Rotate the trays, and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes or so. The times are never exact, basically when your kitchen starts smelling amazing and the granola is a light golden brown, take it out!
- If using, sprinkle the raisins over the granola while it is still warm.
- Let the granola cool on the trays for at least an hour, without stirring, as this creates some clumping. Gather the ends of the Silpat or parchment into a funnel shape and slide the granola right down into a large glass jar. The granola will stay fresh for at least a couple of weeks.
Try making homemade granola once, and I swear you will never go back! Your house will smell heavenly, and you will have a jar full of goodness waiting for you whenever you need a quick breakfast or snack. Pour it into glass jars and tie some ribbon around it and you have a great hostess gift. Whatever you choose, granola will become a new staple for you, I’m sure of it.